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July Monthly Report Summary Written Friday 5th of August 2016 at 10:47pm by CanadianSyrup

July built excitement for the Star Citizen community, check out what happened last month with our summary of the report. As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change...

July built excitement for the Star Citizen community, check out what happened last month with our summary of the report.

As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change by CIG and in some cases may not always be 100% accurate at the time. While we strive for accuracy, mistakes do happen so please let us know if you find something amiss that we didn’t catch. Enjoy!

July Monthly Report

Summary by CanadianSyrup, Stormy Winters, Nehkara

Los Angeles

Engineering

  • The team’s focus has been on stabilizing SC Alpha 2.5.0
  • Work on converting assets over to ItemSystem
    • David Bone Gill from the UK flew over and assisted in creating multiple solutions to make the process more efficient.
  • John Pritchett has been working on Atmospheric flight.

Tech Design

  • Team has been working closely with John Pritchett, Chris Roberts, Todd Papy, and others on Atmospheric flight.
  • Calix Reneau has been hammering out Salvage design for code and implementation.
  • Matt Sherman has been setting up several ships that are in progress such as the Reliant Kore.

Art

  • Omar Aweidah has been working on getting marine suits into a playable state.
  • Cheyne Hessler has been working on more clothing for 2.5.0
  • Drake Caterpillar is finishing up on the art side.

Narrative

  • Squadron 42 shoots are over.
    • In the last days of the shoot the team recorded some sample lines for specific PU characters.
  • More free time has allowed the team to focus on News Updates, Jump Point, Starmap and Ask A Dev thread.

Quality Assurance

  • Focus on new skeleton and animation changes.
  • Testing for Item System 2.0
  • Testing the Dragonfly’s atmospheric flight model.
  • General QA for 2.5

CIG Austin

Development

  • Focused on establishing various aspects of upcoming landing zones and points of interest
  • Rob Reininger and Jr. Technical Designer Robert Gaither have been supporting LA Engineering team in setting up the new Item 1.0 elevators to work in Grim HEX Station
  • Established inventories and whitebox setup for new shops in the upcoming 2.5.0 release
  • Rob has been further establishing the design for Purchase Kiosk
  • Designer Pete Mackay has been drafting the GDD for Resource Spawning that will determine several methods of distributing resources throughout play spaces
    • Separate approaches will be established for procedural planet entities, one for asteroid fields, one for dust/gas nebula and a final method for dealing with persistent/static entities/areas
    • He’s been exploring aspects such as resource matter states, rarity, base value, mass and locking down general workflow for designers to setup resource distribution

Art/Animation

  • Emre Switzer has been iterating on feedback for final lighting passed on both Levski and Grim HEX
  • Chris Smith wrapped Final Art PAss on Hornet F7A and moved on to revamping Constellation variants to match quality of the Andromeda, currently focusing on the Aquila
  • Josh Coons still working on Drake Herald, the cockpit and ensuring it matches metric set out by Ship Animation Team
  • Daniel Craig ensured the Argo MPUV animations requirements complied with ship geometry since the interior required character to crouch in certain situations
  • Jay Brushwood working out animation requirements for Drake Dragonfly
  • They wrapped up reauthorized combat speed enter/exit animations for Anvil Hornet and Super Hornet based off data from mo-cap shoot, now turning attention to reauthoring the M50 and Gladius next
  • PU Animation Team working on polishing NPC animations for use in NPC AI Subsumption system
  • Bryan Brewer working with Design to solidify enter/exit metrics, creating helper files and reviewing female skeleton
  • Backend Services Team headed up by Jason Ely focused on new services for future releases
  • Tom Sawyer and Ian Guthrie at Wyrmbyte spent half the month fixing bugs related to the Persistence Cache and players being able to log in on multiple machines with the same account
  • Jason Ely drafting up documentation for the Service Beacon, new feature by Tony Zurovec, this feature allows players to request immediate assistance in a number of different areas or offer their goods/services to other players/NPCs

QA

  • Shifted focus back to main development stream and currently testing 2.5.0
  • Multi-factor authentication launched this month with all required testing/attention from ATX QA team
    • Including all app versions, new security features and updated launcher
  • ATX and UK worked together on weekly cross-studio play tests for performance and stability testing and a number of general destructive tests
  • New hires: Elijah Montenegro and Tyler Tumlinson

Game Support

  • Eric ‘Proxus’ Green joined the team
  • Wrapping up 2.4.1 and began prep for 2.5.0, mostly training, documentation, processes, etc
  • Worked with Evocati on testing 2.5.0
  • Spent a lot of time on how they process bug reports and feedback, revamping much of what existed
  • They’re looking to hire more Game Support Staff, feel free to check it out and apply

IT/Operations

  • Great progress on Patch Size Reduction project
    • Now at the point of connecting programs together from various teams and testing data delivery from point to point
    • Essential as this gets them to the point of working with real data versus test data
    • Portion of the team worked with Moritz our of the Frankfurt office supporting preparations for Gamescom
    • All demo equipment assembled and tested with latest game code on network gear
  • Side projects include a prototype build out of their new ‘Go Box’
  • Paul Vaden re-engineering the ‘office in a box’ kit for size and efficiency
    • Goal is to plug in a ready to go infrastructure wherever they need providing secure connectivity back home when on the road
  • Mike Jones and Hassan from UK have been working on designing a solution to increase performance and capacity of central storage systems in UK and Frankfurt for a fraction of the cost

LiveOps/DevOps

  • Keeping track of multitude of builds from multiple source stream with increased build replication and faster response times to build requests while simultaneously keeping up with internal tools development work
  • Build system ran over 100 unique full testable builds moving over a petabyte of data across the network resulting in around 75 internal server deployments
  • Miles continues work with IT to find new ways to improve performance on incremental builds and asset compilations
  • Breaking jobs down to smaller parts and cutting time to rebuild results in more last minute fixes to QA for better builds out to PTU publishes

Foundry 42 UK

Engineering

  • Main focus is Subsumption and its associated systems.
  • One of these systems is the mission system.
  • Subsumption will allow for easy and dynamic mission creation.
  • Migrating AI over to use Subsumption from behaviour tree, difficult process and initially is a step back but they are beginning to really see progress.

Art

  • Reworking and re-evaluating how ship weapons are created.  Working towards a modular formulaic route so ship weapon production can improve, move towards easily creating families of weapons.
  • Work on Klaus and Werner ATT4 and Sniper weapons as well as Kastak Arms shotgun, focusing on consistent styling for manufacturers and usability in Squadron 42.
  • In terms of ships, some work on Caterpillar colour schemes/branding and an updated F8 concept.

VFX

  • Flight-ready pass on the ARGO (thrusters, damage, etc).
  • Grim HEX environment effects (utilizing the new tiled lighting model).
  • Weapon impact effects improvements.
  • Several staff members visited Frankfurt to discuss and plan VFX support for procedural planets (clouds, weather, water, atmospheric entry/exit, etc).
  • New VFX artist Michal started work on ship effects, cleaning up existing ship thrusters in preparation for the move to optics flares and bloom in 2.5.0.

Environment Art

  • Focused on taking parts of Squadron 42 levels and using them as visual targets for modelling, shading, lighting, dressing, etc.
  • Polishing Gamescom presentation.
  • Continue to help push procedural tech along – will be big for creating environments.

Animation

  • Working on weapon reloading animations, fixing broken animations.
  • Iterating on character skinning and base pose.
  • Have created a 1:1 match between Maya and the engine.

Vehicle Art

  • Completed Idris Captain’s quarters.
  • Started mirroring common areas (stairways, corridors, hallways) from one side of Idris to the other.
  • Aim to complete all interior rooms on the Idris to final art with collision (to allow for playthrough) next month.
  • Work on cleaning up the Javelin – finishing junction rooms and making sure standardized areas created for the Idris work on the Javelin.  This is an example of a benefit of having a built up Aegis building set.
  • Bengal team have made great progress.  Wrapping up final art on the exterior hull.  Completed gatling gun, AA turrets, exterior bridge.  Final touches on the hangar to ensure shaders work well with new lighting tech.
  • Bengal interior bridge close to complete.  Started work on ready room and bunk rooms.

Design

  • Hammering away on the Squadron 42 levels – really coming together.
  • Implementation of recorded performance capture well underway.
  • Character team making good inroads into the required costumes list.  Allows them to begin populating the levels with the final characters in correct costumes.

Props

  • Two members of the props team working on procedural planet tech, nailing down workflows and pipeline.
  • Refining hanging clothing workflow – taking final clothing items from character team and turning them into the hanging store versions.
  • Continued work on ship items – over 100 now complete.  Will provide plenty of customization options once the feature launches.
  • Next up looking into ship interiors and how the sub items integrate into them.
  • New members of props team setting in great.

Graphics

  • Graphics team split between new features and low-level improvements to shading model.
  • For expanded universe, the Sun is now an actual object that can be flown around.  Previously in CryEngine the Sun was always 10 km away.  Now it is a hot glowing sphere that casts light and shadows in all directions as you would expect with a physically accurate reflection.
  • Began work on asteroid tech to place asteroid fields and planetary rings with millions of asteroids with minimal artist setup.
  • In terms of shaders, improved specular reflection model – brighter and more accurate reflections from lights.
  • Improved physical accuracy of how rough or glossy materials look when you zoom in/out.
  • Completed changes to exposure control system – allows art team fine control of how bright/dark a scene is.
  • Implemented a realistic adaption algorithm that individually adjust according to your pupil dilation and photo pigment adaption.

Audio

  • Sam Hall fixed up some audio functionality in the editor, providing host of new hooks for dynamic music system and was working on bug fix support for 2.5 release
  • Graham Phillipson has been bug fixing specifically:
    • What they call ‘interiority’, change sounds depending on player’s perspective/relationship to inside/outside sound sources more efficiently
    • RTPC normalization for consistent reverb levels across environments
    • VOIP code tidy up
    • Adding pitch control to AudioAreaAmbiences
  • Darren Lambourne working away on Dragonfly and generally polishing and improving ship audio, Idris taking a large portion of the time
  • Stefan Rutherford working on GrimHex map, providing support for new systems(elevators, doors, etc) and revising/improving upon FPS module audio
  • Ross Tregenza coordinating with Pedro Camacho and Geoff Zanelli to get music into the game for both PU and SQ42
    • Lots of work on the music logic system with new code aspects added by Sam Hall, he’s been iterating/tweaking the system and assembling content in Wwise and finessing it all into one seamless system
  • Simon Price continuing work on dialogue pipeline and providing support for bug fixing.
    • Bob Rissolo and Phil Smallwood both working on Squadron 42 shoot and are now dealing with subsequent editorial work.
  • Matteo Cerquone is working on Squadron 42 maps, adding states and similar game-syncs.  UI “purchase items” sounds.  Tested new ship engine real-time parameter controls and assisted with new parameters for improved ship audio feedback.
    • Working with Luke Hatton on prototype for new UI ship sound design language to have consistency over the different manufacturers.  Divide UI information into different pools of sounds.
  • Ewan Brown has made improvements to the spaceship flight audio feedback system (translates more of ship physics such as speed and acceleration, in linear and angular axes, into usable audio parameters).
    • Also working on audio controls for atmospheric wind and turbulence as well as improve dialogue lip sync for upcoming cinematic scenes.
  • Jason Cobb has been setting up mix states for Grim Hex, building pipeline support and refine the ATL generation script plus bug smashing.

QA

  • Worked to get 2.4.0 out
  • Gathered feedback and bug reports and to get 2.4.1 out
  • Some of the team then cycled into 2.5.0 and the rest started working on Gamescom related things
  • New hires: Ian Goodey, Stephen Austin and Idreece Hadi
  • Ian on Squadron 42 and FPS, Stephen on Gamescom stuff and Idreece technical testing approach

Foundry 42 Frankfurt

Engine

  • The core team working on planets itself at the moment is small, but has had some recent additions.
    • Going forward for planets the next step is to improve visuals and make planets more interactive with landing areas and ecosystems
  • Zone system has seen large refactoring, optimisation and fixes for 2.5.
  • Chris Raine has been working on a new local physics grid and planetary grid system.
  • Work continued on vision stabilisation for first person view.
  • The core engine team focused on the Tag System.
    • The Tag System allows them to make up certain objects with tags and give them a semantic.

Design

  • Work has begun on AI Crew Skills & Stats system.
    • No two AI should be the some and variation will occur that leads to players choosing wisely who they hire and taking care of their crew and training them in specific areas.
  • Social systems are being reworked to having friends/contact lists, groups, organisations implemented properly in game.
  • A focus on access system such as doors, airlocks, and elevators to be integrated fully with a ship to allow players to set permissions for access to parts of a ship.
  • Level Design team has continued work on locations for the PU after finishing Grim HEX.
  • R&D on Modularity and location components to design a system that allows them to create various objects in space such as satellites, outposts quickly without losing quality.

Weapons

  • Focus on finishing up the Behring P8-SC SMG.
  • Started plans for blocking out new and modular missile rack systems

Quality Assurance

  • Busy with physics and rendering to reduce performance impact on the client.
  • Fixed some issues for the cinematics editor that significantly improves QoL for future shoots.

AI

  • Primary focus has been on Subsumption and mission system.
    • Currently at version 0.962i for the Subsumption Editor and is much more stable and improved ergonomics.
    • Introduced the possibility of defining the type of outputs a task has.
  • Mission system has had basic elements created to enable them to create and maintain a vast amount of missions for SQ42 and SC.
  • Work on Usables and improving the way NPCs interact with multi IPs usable objects such as couches that have three slots.
    • Also worked on perception of large objects so that NPCs can see spaceships in the distance and objects obscured by skyscrapers, mountains, etc.
  • Fixed some issues to allow AI to land on specific pads correctly.

BHVR

Engineering

  • Mostly bug fixes for purchasing errors, drop down options not being displayed, various AR bugs.
  • Cleaned up their low level UI data binding framework and added more features to give better control to the design team.
  • Tag system has become a priority again since core features like AI make sure of the system.

Design

  • Polishing and debugging of Grim HEX.
  • Continued integration of flair tems for future releases.

Art

  • Polishing, bug fixing, optimisation for Grim HEX.

TURBULENT

Multi-factor Authentication(MFA)

  • In addition to username and password you now need to enter a special code to access your account either by email or mobile app

Communication Platform

  • Continued work on new communication platform that includes new Forum/Chat module, specifically work on the design and development
  • Looking ahead to ‘Phase 2’ feature set which will offer additional communication channels
  • Targeting CitizenCon to demo ‘Phase 1’ version

Game Launcher

  • Working closely with CIG’s dev team on new game launcher
  • Targeting CitizenCon to have something to demo
  • User interface will look the same, ‘guts’ of the launcher will be completely revamped and allow the launcher to support multiple games and environments in the future

COMMUNITY

Day-to-Day

  • Ben Lesnick spent much of the month fighting a severe infection, but he’s back in the office now.
  • Coordinating the changes to the new broadcast output.
  • Gamescom livestream prep and for the Gamescom Party and Presentation.

Broadcasts

  • Around the ‘Verse has an updated format where it rotates between each studio every week, allowing studios more time to show off more content in a more condensed format.
  • Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy is now it’s own show alternating with Bugsmashers on Wednesdays.

You Guys

  • A new podcast “Diverse the Verse starring Sofiegirl, Mzhartz, Lady Nighthawk, Pixelmesane, and Witchkittie.
  • Announced the streamers who will be at Gamescom: Deejay Knight, Captain_Richard, BadNewsBaron, and Twerk17.
  • New content from SCLoreCast by Lord Bayne.
    • Hasgaha for his Star Citizen screenshots featuring Big Benny’s Addiction posters.
  • Big Benny’s music video released thanks to all those who helped contribute.
  • Shoutout to 2016 BritizenCon for a successful event and possibly turning it into an annual thing.

CanadianSyrup

Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.